Navy Seal falls on grenade to saved team mates.


October 14, 2006, 11:48 AM

SEAL Falls on Grenade to Save Comrades

Navy SEAL Drops Onto Grenade to Save Comrades; Only 2nd Member of Force to Die in Iraq


CORONADO, Calif. Oct 13, 2006 (AP) A Navy SEAL sacrificed his life to save his comrades by throwing himself on top of a grenade Iraqi insurgents tossed into a sniper hideout his unit had discovered, fellow members of the elite force said.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael A. Monsoor had been near the only door to the rooftop structure Sept. 29 when the grenade hit him in the chest and bounced to the floor, said four SEALs who spoke to The Associated Press this week on condition of anonymity because their work requires their identities to remain secret.

"He never took his eye off the grenade, his only movement was down toward it," said a 28-year-old lieutenant who sustained shrapnel wounds to both legs that day. "He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs' lives, and we owe him."

Monsoor, a 25-year-old gunner, was killed in the explosion in Ramadi, west of Baghdad. He was only the second SEAL to die in Iraq since the war began.

Two SEALs next to Monsoor were injured; another who was 10 to 15 feet from the blast was unhurt. The four had been working with Iraqi soldiers providing sniper security while U.S. and Iraqi forces conducted missions in the area.

In an interview at the SEALs' West Coast headquarters in Coronado, four members of the special force remembered "Mikey" as a loyal friend and a quiet, dedicated professional.

"He was just a fun-loving guy," said a 26-year-old petty officer 2nd class who went through the grueling 29-week SEAL training with Monsoor. "Always got something funny to say, always got a little mischievous look on his face."

Other SEALS described the Garden Grove, Calif., native as a modest and humble man who drew strength from his family and his faith. His father and brother are former Marines, said a 31-year-old petty officer 2nd class.

Prior to his death, Monsoor had already demonstrated courage under fire. He has been posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions May 9 in Ramadi, when he and another SEAL pulled a team member shot in the leg to safety while bullets pinged off the ground around them.

Monsoor's funeral was held Thursday at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego. He has also been submitted for an award for his actions the day he died.

The first Navy SEAL to die in Iraq was Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc A. Lee, 28, who was killed Aug. 2 in a firefight while on patrol against insurgents in Ramadi. Navy spokesman Lt. Taylor Clark said the low number of deaths among SEALs in Iraq is a testament to their training.

Sixteen SEALs have been killed in Afghanistan. Eleven of them died in June 2005 when a helicopter was shot down near the Pakistan border while ferrying reinforcements for troops pursuing al-Qaida militants.

There are about 2,300 of the elite fighters, based in Coronado and Little Creek, Va.

The Navy is trying to boost that number by 500 a challenge considering more than 75 percent of candidates drop out of training, notorious for "Hell Week," a five-day stint of continual drills by the ocean broken by only four hours sleep total. Monsoor made it through training on his second attempt.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

"Greater love hath no man..."

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October 14, 2006, 11:53 AM
God Bless and God Speed

This man was a true hero, it's a shame to loose another to this senseless war.
My condolences to all who knew him :(

October 14, 2006, 12:01 PM
Wow, that was true heroism. Words cannot express my appreciation for his valiant service.

October 14, 2006, 12:22 PM
Damn Seals are just made of different stuff...

Semper Fi and Godspeed, young lion. May your reward be magnificent.

October 14, 2006, 12:39 PM
You just don't find heroes like that everyday. Thank God we have many of them in our military.

God bless Michael A. Monsoor, his family and friends. There are special places in Heaven for heroes.

October 14, 2006, 01:35 PM
I read this story while at work and was impressed w/ this hero's actions....God bless to all our fighting men & women

October 14, 2006, 01:41 PM
It would of been great to know him.....

October 14, 2006, 03:29 PM
I sense a merge coming....

October 14, 2006, 03:53 PM
America is what it is (even with all of its problems) because of brave men and women who have sacrificed all that they have for freedom. May God continue to shine His face upon us and protect us from our enemies.

Thank you, Michael Monsoor.

October 14, 2006, 08:13 PM
All words seem cheap here, but they are the least we owe this young man. Thank you for your sacrifices and godspeed.

October 14, 2006, 08:24 PM
That he would literally jump on a grenade to save his compatriots lives speaks volumes about this sailor.

Petty Officer Monsoor, I salute you.


October 14, 2006, 09:43 PM
When one contrasts this act that was performed out of love for his comrades with the killing of civilians by suicide bombers on the other side, the difference in mentality is stark. THIS is the difference between them and us. Any grass eater who can't understand the distinction isn't worth trying to convince. Godspeed, sir, and if there is a Valhalla, you've more than earned your place there.

October 14, 2006, 10:00 PM

October 14, 2006, 10:02 PM
That is selflessness. My condolences to the family and friends.

October 14, 2006, 10:41 PM
May God bless his soul and his family.

These are the things that truly patriotic men do to ensure that we can live the lives we do, may we never forget that. Sadly he wasn't the first and won't be the last, it is a true toll we pay for the American Way of Life. As long as we can recognize and appreciate the sacrifice of true heroes it is worth it. May God help us if we ever forget the price that has been paid......

October 14, 2006, 11:24 PM
You fight (and sometimes die) for your friends. This young man's selfless act earns our respect and gratitude. Even though his loss is tragic, his family, his service and our nation should be justly proud. No greater love can be shown than to give one's life to save others.

I would think the CMH is in order. There is no higher "above and beyond" than this.

October 15, 2006, 04:40 AM
Semper Fi.

October 15, 2006, 04:50 AM
Brave man

Ala Dan
October 15, 2006, 09:19 AM
Prayers, condolesences, and a special "thanks" sent.

October 15, 2006, 04:09 PM
Sounds exactly like 1stSgt. Brad Kasal who jumped on top of a grenade to save his fellow Marines inside of a boobytrapped house in Fallujah. He survived the blast and pulled out his M9 and proceeded to kill several insurgents while lying on the floor for 40 minutes before reinforcements could arrive. I believe he was awarded the Navy Cross.

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